Apple will open a data centre in Oregon after buying a 160-acre area of land in Prineville for $5.6 million, the company announced yesterday.

Apple did not provide further details on what it plans to do with the data centre, but the company already offers online services such as iCloud through existing data centres. The company last year opened a data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, as an iCloud backbone and invested over $500 million in the facility.

Prineville, which is located in central Oregon, has a temperate climate that makes it a good place for data centres, said Dan Olds, principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, which is in Beaverton, Oregon.

The temperature is usually cool at night, providing a natural air conditioner that helps cut power and cooling costs, he said.

The land is cheap and so is the power, with multiple dams on the Columbia river generating plenty of hydropower, Olds said.

Facebook opened its first custom data centre in Prineville, and the data centre employs energy-efficient cooling designs, like an evaporative cooling system to chill incoming air.

A recent environmental progress report highlighted some environmentally friendly cooling techniques employed by Apple in its data centres. For the data centre in Maiden, Apple is building a solar array and a fuel-cell installation that will be powered by biogas. The data centre takes advantage of cool air, and uses a water storage system to improve chiller efficiency.

Some other top companies, including Google and Amazon have data centres in Oregon.